Higher selection just out of range

Emerald’s Troy Graham threw a personal best in javelin at the Australian Athletics Junior Championships last month.
Emerald’s Troy Graham threw a personal best in javelin at the Australian Athletics Junior Championships last month.

IT IS not every day you throw a personal best and still don’t make the cut but for Emerald javelin thrower Troy Graham, representation at the national level was reward enough.

The 13-year-old Marist College student threw a personal best distance of 34.03 metres at the Australian Athletics Junior Championships in Sydney last month to place eighth overall in the under-15 age group.

What’s more, the youngster was competing in his first national meet and had also made the field for the 1500 metres but chose to forego this selection to concentrate on his throwing.

The icing on the cake came with news Graham had been scouted by a leading javelin coach from Townsville during the Sydney championships.

“Not bad for a kid from the bush with next to no formal training,” dad Phil said.

“He had been throwing a bit better in training but it’s still a really good effort.

“Next time he wants to be in the top three.”

Phil was unsure as to the exact qualifying distance required to progress to the next level but said it often varied from year to year.

“Sometimes it’s only the first couple of kids who make it, other times it’s further down the tree.”

Also pinning Emerald on the map at the top level was under-20 representative Matthew Free. The Emerald Athletics Club member was part of the men’s 4x400m relay which took out the bronze at the Australian championships.

In addition to his team’s third place in the relay, Free also competed in the 200 metre, 400 metre and long jump events with credible times and distances.

Both state representatives can credit a large part of their success to the Emerald Athletics Club which holds weekly club meets every Sunday afternoon at Marist College Oval from 2pm for five to 12-years and from 3pm for 13-years through to Masters in all disciplines of track and field for beginners and those more experienced.

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